Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bertie Wooster revisited: Poetry Recital Prize at Thomas' Battersea

Carol Ann Duffy: First past the (last) post
A stonkingly early start today, as I reprised my Bertie Woosterish role (you may remember last time). I was honoured to be giving away the prize at Thomas' Battersea for their Poetry Recital Competition. I was astonished by the quality of the poems chosen and by the way they were delivered. It really gave me heart to think that children at that age can enjoy, understand and delight in reciting such complex and interesting poems. It brought back memories of my own poetry recital competition - I think I slightly optimistically did Byron's The Isles of Greece (I can still remember the first few lines...)

We had brilliantly sinister renderings of Crow’s Fall by Ted Hughes and Mushrooms by Sylvia Plath; an intelligent declamation of Hughes' The Thought Fox too. There was a galloping recital of an old favourite, Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade, and a joyous rendering of Daffodils by William Wordsworth. Humour was brought with The Naming of Cats by T S Eliot; poignancy with A Little By Lost by William Blake, and humour and poignancy together with William Shakespeare's All the World's a Stage. The winner, though, was current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy's Last Post, which was delivered with excellent enunciation and a real sense of the tragedy of war.

Many congratulations to all who took part - it was a sterling collection of candidates. 

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